Sunday, September 19, 2021
HomePatriot DispatchesTeachers are Bad People

Teachers are Bad People

Or,  “ DON’T YOU HAVE TO KNOW SOME THINGS BEFORE YOU CAN USE THEM?”

 

Anyone with a passing interest in education, mainly primary and secondary education, knows about the great controversies surrounding the previous administration’s push for ‘Excellence in Ed’ known as NoChildLeftBehind.  The funny thing about it of course is that these days it is all ‘Bush’s fault’.  Yes, holding students and teachers accountable was a noble idea and brought a hearty “Huzzah!” when the late, great Teddy Kennedy co-sponsored the push.   Today,  Teddy gets none of the blame for whatever real or perceived ills  are associated with NCLB.  That’s because  Teddy, RIP, is dead and because those trying to push the kinder, gentler, more feeling-oriented trend in education, regardless of how they try to characterize it, would have a hard time reconciling the Progressive Socialist Democrat’s alliance with G.W. Bush.

Hoping for a change, teachers, and gullible state governments,  nowadays are signing on in droves to the New Ideal, the “Common Core” initiative of the Obama/Duncan Dynasty.  A report on it and some illustrative examples can be found here.  You don’t have to be a PHD to parse the article and note that ‘Common Core’ bears little resemblance to ‘the Three R’s’.  Common Core is a thinly-veiled scheme to deny the youth of tomorrow any significant amount of exposure to the vast storehouse of knowledge accumulated through the years in favor of some sort of ‘immersive’  learning designed to make kids ‘feel’ things about subjects, or manipulate subjects,  rather than learn them.  If you want to read  more about Common Core you can go to the DOE website and read cool slogans and edu-isms like  “Universal Design”, “Multiple Means”, “Alternatives” and “Tap into learners’ interests”.

In addition to that, the subliminal message is that “Kids, it’s all about you!”  As if we haven’t had enough of that in the last four decades, the learning experience now is building on the vanities associated with pushing kids to be the ‘deciders’ in matters of environmental and social ‘justice’,  multiculturalism and diversity, globalism and all that rot.

The most insidious part of it all, though, is how easily those who fancy themselves as teachers buy into the program.  The example given in the article, a certain Mr. Riesenfeld who teaches tenth grade history in Long Island, NY, is painfully instructive.  This is what cheerfully accepting the Common Core standards has reduced Mr. Riesenfeld’s history classes to:

Because they require more depth in some areas, he said, the standards have forced him to focus more on teaching students to read and write about a handful of “significant topics” in world history.

There’s a great big world out there, with thousands of years of history, and Mr. Riesenfeld is reduced to exposing them to a handful of significant events.  He “often pushes students to read more closely and analytically.”  Well, isn’t that swell?  Tenth-graders being really “analytical”.  About a “handful of significant events”.  Shame they aren’t learning World History.  But there just isn’t time to learn World History because Mr. Riesenfeld has honed Common Core standards into this fine art:

Occasionally, a class will spend an entire period analyzing a single paragraph. “In effect, they’re learning how to use materials rather than just answer question a, b, c and d,” he said.
As a result, Riesenfeld said, his history students often look and sound as if they’re in an English class.

One reads something like that and is moved to tears at what has become of education in America.  We have to crawl before we can walk and the amount  of money spent  and resources wasted trying to bypass natural law in the field of learning, of any kind, is the biggest scandal in the history of this country.  How can one proceed with clarity and (presumably) noble purpose when one does not have…..the facts?  The question is just that basic.   We don’t know what’s in the textbooks Mr. Riesenfeld uses, but we do hope they contain more than a handful of significant events in World History and we do hope his students actually read them.

Mr. Riesenfeld admits that he is not teaching his students World History, but rather is teaching them “how to use materials”.  Now, and this person’s formal education preceeded Common Core by a decade or so, but does everyone recall the columnist (if we remember correctly, it was the twenty-something Ezra Klein of Washington Post fame) who derided the US Constitution as being some old-fashioned document that is “over a hundred years old”?   Mr. Klein hasn’t a clue about the a,b,c,d  questions referred to by Mr. Riesenfeld above, but he has heard about the Constitution and knows how to “use the material”,  albeit in a manner that exposes him as a dunce.  Not the Titusville Tattler, people, the Washington Post.  And the man’s tweets are posted in influential blogs.

Folks, may we suggest that we ain’t seen nothin’ yet.  If there isn’t time to teach World History in World History class, except for a handful of “significant events”, there will come a time when even the Constitution itself won’t be included in that handful of significant events; probably not even in American History class.
Mr. Riesenfeld is not a bad person. Mr. Riesenfeld thinks he is doing great things by his students.  But Mr. Riesenfeld says he teaches World History and then admits that he actually doesn’t teach World History.  We don’t know what that makes Mr. Riesenfeld, but if it makes him a teacher…..that’s bad.

 

 

bobmontgomery
Poor. No advanced degrees. Unorganized. Feeble. Disjointed. Random. Past it. .... Intrigued, Interested, Patriotic and Lucky.

7 COMMENTS

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7 COMMENTS

  1. It sounds as though he’s teaching 10th grade remedial reading & writing. There’s a lot of that going on these days at the college level. I shudder to think what passes for critical analysis in his classes; bet it centers a lot on exploitation, greed and colonialism, the evil patriarchy! Sometimes the teacher and school system has to force-feed study of topics, especially the important ones the student may have no native interest in to ‘tap into’. As a tenth grader, I couldn’t have cared less which Civil War general did what to whom and when and actually despised the dreaded cosines and tangents in trig. A literal example of educational force-feeding for yours truly!

      • Thank you Robert; some students of mine might disagree with either or both your points. Like you, I acquired most of what I know the old fashioned way–I learned it! My teaching method doesn’t let students avoid the same type of pain I endured; really, how else can one learn? Also, since none of my instructors gave a rat’s butt about my self-esteem, I happily return the favor in my own classroom. Cheers!

  2. Federal government has no business being involved with education.
    Social promotion and affirmative action has ruined the public school system from the inside out over the past 4 decades. Johnny can’t read, but is no longer “left behind” and teachers can’t teach because they are not qualified. Progressive agenda did all this with two-strokes.

    Of course, not all teachers, but enough that it has corrupted and decreased academic achievement in this country.
    One other thing, Ted Kennedy, I don’t pray for him to “RIP.”

  3. My husband was an elementary school teacher for 26 years. He was required to do written “lesson plans” for the next day. There was a curriculum to be followed and periodically the principal would review those lessons plans to make sure the curriculum was included. He has been gone for 19 years, so I don’t know if this is still done, at least at elementary level. At times the principal would show up in the classroom unannounced to observe. Things were good then, the kids learned stuff.

    Now on to Head Start which is a total joke. I worked in the Toledo office for a summer and came home and cried every night from the stress. The only reason I stayed was my daughter worked for the temporary agency Head Start contracted with and she begged me to stay because they couldn’t find anyone else to go into the wasp’s nest and it would have been a bad reflection on her.

    This boondoggle/fiasco costs millions just for Toledo and is ineffective and like all government programs the permanent staff is a mess. They couldn’t get the bus schedules right, they didn’t notify parents their child wasn’t accepted so the poor kid was out waiting for a bus that never came. File folders were a mess and were misfiled in cabinets, many never to be found. I worked in the front office so I was the first person angry parents, or usually *a* parent would see and load off on. Most mornings I came found usually about 200 voice mails which all had to be answered, and most were not from happy people. Many times the voice mail system was overloaded and couldn’t take any more so the parent just showed up there and gave me hell. The waiting room was always full or overflowing and the kids tore the place apart. Case workers were never on time with their appointments. Many just told me they were “leaving the building” and didn’t say why when there were appointments in the waiting room for them. Everyone worked 8-4 and no one entered that building before 7:59.59am and we all left at 3:59.59pm and it was always a fight to see who could get to the rickety elevator the fastest.

    Just like the EPA, Bob, this program needs to be on a fast track out of here. If I recall this was part of Obama’s “Julia.”

  1. It sounds as though he’s teaching 10th grade remedial reading & writing. There’s a lot of that going on these days at the college level. I shudder to think what passes for critical analysis in his classes; bet it centers a lot on exploitation, greed and colonialism, the evil patriarchy! Sometimes the teacher and school system has to force-feed study of topics, especially the important ones the student may have no native interest in to ‘tap into’. As a tenth grader, I couldn’t have cared less which Civil War general did what to whom and when and actually despised the dreaded cosines and tangents in trig. A literal example of educational force-feeding for yours truly!

      • Thank you Robert; some students of mine might disagree with either or both your points. Like you, I acquired most of what I know the old fashioned way–I learned it! My teaching method doesn’t let students avoid the same type of pain I endured; really, how else can one learn? Also, since none of my instructors gave a rat’s butt about my self-esteem, I happily return the favor in my own classroom. Cheers!

  2. Federal government has no business being involved with education.
    Social promotion and affirmative action has ruined the public school system from the inside out over the past 4 decades. Johnny can’t read, but is no longer “left behind” and teachers can’t teach because they are not qualified. Progressive agenda did all this with two-strokes.

    Of course, not all teachers, but enough that it has corrupted and decreased academic achievement in this country.
    One other thing, Ted Kennedy, I don’t pray for him to “RIP.”

  3. My husband was an elementary school teacher for 26 years. He was required to do written “lesson plans” for the next day. There was a curriculum to be followed and periodically the principal would review those lessons plans to make sure the curriculum was included. He has been gone for 19 years, so I don’t know if this is still done, at least at elementary level. At times the principal would show up in the classroom unannounced to observe. Things were good then, the kids learned stuff.

    Now on to Head Start which is a total joke. I worked in the Toledo office for a summer and came home and cried every night from the stress. The only reason I stayed was my daughter worked for the temporary agency Head Start contracted with and she begged me to stay because they couldn’t find anyone else to go into the wasp’s nest and it would have been a bad reflection on her.

    This boondoggle/fiasco costs millions just for Toledo and is ineffective and like all government programs the permanent staff is a mess. They couldn’t get the bus schedules right, they didn’t notify parents their child wasn’t accepted so the poor kid was out waiting for a bus that never came. File folders were a mess and were misfiled in cabinets, many never to be found. I worked in the front office so I was the first person angry parents, or usually *a* parent would see and load off on. Most mornings I came found usually about 200 voice mails which all had to be answered, and most were not from happy people. Many times the voice mail system was overloaded and couldn’t take any more so the parent just showed up there and gave me hell. The waiting room was always full or overflowing and the kids tore the place apart. Case workers were never on time with their appointments. Many just told me they were “leaving the building” and didn’t say why when there were appointments in the waiting room for them. Everyone worked 8-4 and no one entered that building before 7:59.59am and we all left at 3:59.59pm and it was always a fight to see who could get to the rickety elevator the fastest.

    Just like the EPA, Bob, this program needs to be on a fast track out of here. If I recall this was part of Obama’s “Julia.”

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